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The End Machine - Phase2 Award winner

The End Machine
by Mike McMahan at 06 July 2021, 1:04 PM

I truthfully saw no way in hell, going into this review for THE END MACHINE’S “Phase2”, that I was not going to draw some comparison to the band DOKKEN. I was not wrong in that assumption, only not in for the same reasons that I had initially expected. First, yes: DOKKEN’S vaunted and incredible guitarist and bass player, George Lynch and Jeff Pilson, respectively, are present. Also present is the younger brother of long-time DOKKEN drummer Wild Mick Brown (who played on the first THE END MACHINE release), Steve Brown. The opening track on this release, an instrumental cut called “The Rising”, is eerily similar to the opening track from DOKKEN’S second record, “Tooth And Nail”“Without Warning”. The musicianship is incredible, with both bands. Phrasing is similar, in spots. There are bound to be comparisons drawn between the two projects. It is inevitable. In my mind, however, short of the occasional leaning to a familiar musical turn, primarily on the part of Lynch’s very distinct guitar style, that is where any comparison should end. You’re welcome.

THE END MACHINE “Phase2” is, and should be seen as, an entirely different sound and feel than any DOKKEN release that I, personally, can recall. The addition of current WARRANT vocalist, and journeyman extraordinaire, Robert Mason (who has previously worked with LYNCH MOB), is a stroke of genius. There are very few out there today who have the ability of this man, both from a performance, as well as songwriting, standpoint. The music on this release also has a darker feel to it, perhaps a bit edgier in its presentation, and somewhat heavier in the overall sound.

Past the aforementioned instrumental opener, which is a cool touch, the album really gets underway with the track “Blood And Money”. This song cooks from the opening bell, with a well-turned drum intro from Brown (who proves to me throughout this release that he takes a backseat to nobody) into an upbeat and thoroughly interesting song. Some swift time signature changes are present, as is Lynch’s virtuosic ability. Pilson, as always, is rock solid. The cut opens the door into an album that continually impressed me. The highlights happen early and often, with no filler that I could find.

The problem that I have with this record is that I am afraid we will never see the band support it on the road. With the continued work of Mason with WARRANTPilson’s continuation of the BLACK SWAN project and Lynch’s solo work, I don’t see how it could possibly happen; although it would undoubtedly be a sight to behold. I see the same issues with a lot of Frontiers Music projects, and with the talent involved, it breaks my heart. So take what you can from this rather incredible release. There is plenty there to be had.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. The Rising
2. Blood And Money
3. We Walk Alone
4. Dark Divide
5. Crack The Sky
6. Prison Or Paradise
7. Plastic Heroes
8. Scars
9. Shine Your Light
10. Devil’s Playground
11. Born Of Fire
12. Destiny
Robert Mason – Vocals
George Lynch – Guitars
Jeff Pilson – Bass
Steve Brown – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music srl


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Edited 01 December 2022

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